Flashback Friday & Follow Friday 40 and Over

How was your family structured when you were growing up? Did you grow up with both original parents in the home? If your parents divorced, did you go back and forth between them? Whether divorced or widowed, did your parent remarry? How old were you? Was yours a multi-generational household with grandparents living with you? Did your mom work outside the home, and if so, was it full-time or part-time? Was there a clearly delineated division of labor between your parents (or parent and step-parent) and how traditional was it? Did your parents believe in child labor?! That is, how structured were chores? What responsibility, if any, did you have for things like doing your own laundry, fixing your own school lunch, etc.? Were your parents do-it-yourself-ers or did they hire people for repairs, painting, etc.? Is your current marriage/family structure similar to the way you were raised? What do you do differently than you did then?

I was extremely fortunate to grow up with both of my parents, in fact, they have been married for 56 years.  Mom was a stay at home mom; she had 10 babies in 14 years!  When I was in high school, she decided to go back to work.  She was a nurse by training, so she took some refresher courses, and went to work in a hospital.  She worked nights a few times a week.  When I was little, mom took care of the cooking, cleaning, and most of the child-raising.  My dad was a hard worker and a good provider for his family.  Dad took care of the outside and any repairs that needed to be done.  I've mentioned this before:  My daddy can do just about anything.  It was very rare when he called someone in for repairs.
As for child labor, each of us had a chore to do every day.  The older girls were the dish washers, and us younger ones were the driers.  My parents still don't have a mechanical dishwasher.  Then there were the Saturday chores:  clean our rooms, and the girls cleaned the bathrooms.  What did the boys do, you ask? They mowed the yard and helped daddy with "guy things".  During the summer, when my brothers got in trouble, their punishment was to guard the cherry tree and shoot the birds with their bb gun.  Here's the funny thing:  I don't remember ever eating any cherries off of that tree.
Mama fixed our lunches for school every day.  She also did our laundry, including folding them.  She would sort the folded clothes into stacks for each of us, then we would put them away.  
Our house is the same in some ways, but different in others.  I do the laundry:  wash, dry, and fold.  I wash each boys' clothes separately; mostly because each boy had a full load by himself.  They have been responsible for putting their clothes up.  However, all of the boys know how to wash their own clothes, and YS sometimes does his laundry on his own.  
The boys were also responsible for putting their own dishes in the dishwasher.  There have been many times when I have called them in to put their dishes in the dishwasher instead of in the sink.  I unload the dishwasher, but the boys have always been good about doing it if I ask.
CH takes care of the outside, and I take care of cleaning the inside.  You know how you always hear that you marry someone like your father?  Well, CH can do almost as much as my daddy can!  He is pretty handy with fixing things, but we do call for outside help more than my parents did.  Times have changed, and it seem that we just don't have the spare time my parents did.
My boys have almost always bought school lunch.  Every now and then they would want their lunch packed, and I would take care of that for them.
I grew up in a very structured household, and I think our household was pretty much the same.  I always thought it was important for the boys to be on a schedule, and be structured.  It worked for me, anyway!
My parents did a great job raising us:  we learned to work and respect others.  We learned to have fun, even though we didn't have a lot of material things.  I wouldn't trade my upbringing for anything!


  1. I like the image of the boys "guarding" the cherry tree with the BB gun. Did they think of that as punishment?

  2. my family was like yours except only 2 girls. staility is important, giving responsibility to children. sounds like you are following your parents style. which is good. rose

  3. A very happy childhood - one you look back on with fond memories. I enjoyed reading your post.

  4. That's funny about the cherry tree. We had two pear trees, and they seldom produced anything edible. But I do remember a few!

    I always said I was not going to marry anyone like my dad. And then I did.

  5. I enjoyed that question (err, multiple questions) and your answer. It's fun learning about other people!

  6. I'm with Courtney-does a boy being told to fire a bb gun constitute punishment in their mind? : )

    I think I've run my household much like the one I grew up in. I'm a believer in schedules and routine for kids especially. I think everyone is happier when they know what the expectations are.

    Have a great weekend! Are you going to watch the game or hide your head under a pillow until its over?
    Wouldn't a surprise upset be nice-HA!

  7. The boys and the cherry tree too cute. I have a giveaway going on....stop by and enter for a chance to win.

  8. We had only 3 children in our family but had lots of stability. My day worked out of town for the ten years before I entered the convent and was only home about 3 days a week. We all stayed in our home because my parents felt that gave us more stability. We also had a grandmother and uncle living with us. Like you, we had a pretty structured life. We didn't have much in the way of money (although I wasn't aware of that--I thought we were rich!) but the stability more than made up for it!

  9. That's funny about the cherry tree.

    You have a cute fall background on your blog.

    Thanks for sharing.

  10. I grew up with both my parents. Mom was a stay at home mom. We didn't have many chores, my mom did all the work! Funny that you don't remember ever eating the cherries.

  11. Enjoyed your memories. Sounds like you had a good childhood too. I love the cherry tree story. It reminded me of when my nephew would get sent to his room for punishment. Hello... he had all his wordly possesions there, including a TV and an Atari. Didn't ever sound like punishment to me...lolol. Thanks for sharing.
    until next time... nel

  12. there must have been some life lesson your parents wanted to teach your brothers in guarding the tree; might have been boring out there and gave them lots of time to think about their wrong doing (kind of like work program picking up trash along the side of the road, LOL)

    wow 10 kids in 14 years!! how neat to have a big family! are you siblings close to each other to be able to spend time together?

    enjoyed reading your memories; seems like you had a great growing up that you modeled your own marriage/family life with :)


  13. I don't remember guarding the cherry tree as punishment. Punishment was having to sit next to Daddy at dinner!

    Maybe for the older two boys it was different?

    I think I once had a cherry from the tree, but I don't think it was ripe, or something. I remember eating a lot of pears and plums from those trees, though!

  14. Your family sounds wonderful! What a terrific way to grow up!


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